Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Bank Holiday" by Katherine Mansfield

"Bank Holiday" by Katherine Mansfield (1922, six pages)

"Bank Holiday" by Katherine Mansfield (1888 to 1923-New Zealand) is not at all a traditional short story.    Instead it is more of a verbal painting of a moment in time in what seems to be a small New Zealand town on a bank holiday.   There is a festival to celebrate the occasion.    Mansfield uses the present tense in this story, which is unusual for her.   I think she did this to make us feel we are at the festival looking at all the people.  

Mansfield seems to have some quirks or tics in her thinking that pop up in her stories.    Mansfield's weight seems to have fluctuated up and down quite a bit (until she got tuberculous) and she does frequently refer to people as fat.   She also seems to have a thing against older women, especially those who may have lost their looks, using the term "hag" quite a bit. Of course we cannot assume that everything said in the narrative voice is the thought of Mansfield.   I would say in reading Mansfield if you take something she has written as shallow or silly you need to rethink your reading of it.   

"Bank Holiday" can be read in just two or three minutes.   Like most of her stories, it can be read online at the wonderful New Zealand Electronic Text Center.

Mel u


Elizabeth said...

Your blog is sooooooooooooo nice. Been here before and wanted to stop back.

Hopping by for the weekend hop.

Stop by my blog if you like to see my answer this week's question.

Mystica said...

Thank you for the link. I enjoyed the story.

Mel u said...

Elizabeth-I stopped by your blog and liked it a lot-good design and content

Mystica-glad you liked it!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, mel u.